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Reading for Understanding: Literacy for Learning in the 21st Century is a Course

Reading for Understanding: Literacy for Learning in the 21st Century

Ended Feb 27, 2015

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Full course description

Starts January 26, 2015

In this course, we will actively explore a powerful framework, Reading Apprenticeship©—described in the book, Reading for Understanding. Through video clips, readings and practice, this course provides snapshots of a proven approach to helping readers use and master a set of powerful literacy tools that will help them enjoy and understand high-quality, complex texts in and beyond school.

This course is for:

  • Educators interested in deepening literacy with innovative, proven strategies
  • Teachers (K-16), parents, and others supporting readers in any content area
  • Administrators, curriculum specialists, and teacher leaders looking for literacy professional learning that will support their schools in meeting Common Core State Standards

Ruth Schoenbach

Ruth Schoenbach

Co-Director, SLI/WestEd

The Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI) at WestEd is a nationally recognized leader in literacy professional development and research. SLI is best known for developing the Reading Apprenticeship® instructional framework, which is the theoretical foundation for all work conducted by SLI.

For over 25 years, Ruth Schoenbach has developed programs, curricula, and professional development to help students become more successful readers and writers. As Co-Director of WestEd's Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI), Schoenbach has worked since 1995 to increase higher-level literacy learning for middle school, high school, and community college students. Building on prior research and locally based research, Schoenbach and SLI Co-Director Cynthia Greenleaf developed the Reading Apprenticeship® instructional framework, which they describe in their best-selling WestEd book, Reading for Understanding: A Guide to Improving Reading in Middle and High School Classrooms. This book has become the catalyst for an international movement of educators who use the Reading Apprenticeship framework in their local schools — from elementary schools to community colleges to teacher education courses.

In addition, Schoenbach has co-edited two other books — Building Academic Literacy: An Anthology for Reading Apprenticeship, and Building Academic Literacy: Lessons from Reading Apprenticeship Classrooms, Grades 6-12 — and has co-authored numerous articles appearing in professional journals. In 2010, Reading Apprenticeship scored highest of all Investing in Innovation (i3) grants in the validation category for ""scaling up"" a proven educational approach. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, this five-year effort, known as RAISE, is supporting large-scale dissemination of Reading Apprenticeship disciplinary literacy professional development. RAISE will reach more than 2,500 high school content teachers and over 400,000 students in five states (California, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah).

Schoenbach received a BA in social sciences from the University of California, Berkeley, a Bilingual Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University, and an EdM in Teaching, Curriculum, and Learning Environments from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Heather Howlett

Heather Howlett

Project Coordinator, SLI/WestEd

Heather works as a project coordinator in the teacher professional development program for the Strategic Literacy Initiative at WestEd. She was an instructional coach in Reading Apprenticeship and an eighth grade science teacher for Howell Public Schools in Howell, Michigan for 12 years.

She was first trained in Reading Apprenticeship in 2007 and has been implementing it in her classroom since that time. She was trained as a facilitator at the Leadership Institute in Reading Apprenticeship in 2008 and became a consultant for WestEd in 2010. Along with continuous literacy work in her home district and county, she has been facilitating trainings across Michigan and in other states. Her classroom work is featured on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, “Doing What Works” and she co-authored an article about Reading Apprenticeship that was published in the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy.

Heather is a graduate of Madonna University with a major in Biology. She has also earned her Master’s Degree in Teaching and Learning from Nova Southeastern University.

Irisa Charney-Sirott

Irisa Charney-Sirott

Professional Developer, SLI/WestEd

Using the research-based instructional framework, Reading Apprenticeship®, Charney-Sirott and her SLI colleagues offer intensive hands-on training to improve the teaching effectiveness of content-area middle and high school teachers, literacy coaches, and teacher educators nationwide. SLI, which has gained a national reputation for its work in adolescent literacy improvement and for research on adolescent literacy development, is one of only two adolescent literacy programs in the nation designated by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences for further study and evaluation. Charney-Sirott's work on SLI involves facilitating professional development workshops with secondary teachers, as well as materials development and classroom-based research. She is a coauthor of SLI's 9th grade Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy curriculum.

Charney-Sirott became involved with Reading Apprenticeship in 2001 while serving as an Oakland (CA) middle school teacher. She has also developed bilingual curricula in Mexico and Guatemala. She received a BA in history and a secondary teaching credential from Brown University.